Speak softly and carry a big motor.
Shoehorning bigger and better engines into Porsches is not a new thing. However, I’ve always been surprised it hasn’t become a more regular occurrence with the first generation Caymans. Porsche recognized early on that if you put too much power in these cars, they would actually outperform the 911. I know there are many Caymans out there that have already undergone heart transplants, but it’s still not quite as common as I would’ve thought.
The usual swap is the 3.8L 911 S motor. However, for the cost and emissions issues, is it really special enough? Well, the owner of this one emptied his pockets and went full hog with a nice custom 3.8L build on the original engine that is hilariously rowdy and still passes CA’s strict smog test.
On the one hand, it looks understated and serenely cruises down the highway. Yet, with a little more throttle, it becomes a beast that just loves to snack on GT3s through the twisties….num, num, num.
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Custom 3.8L Engine Upgrade / 400 HP
Bilstein PSS9 Suspension System
Over $40,000 Recently Invested
VIN # WP0AB29816U7xxxxx**
111,700 Chassis Miles
13,600 Miles on Engine
Arctic Silver (X1) on Black Leather (AN)
6-Speed Manual Transmission
Clean and Clear California Title
Clean CarFax® Report / No Accidents
PCA Member Owned
The Cayman’s debut in 2005/2006 was an instant hit with both journalists and die-hard Porsche enthusiasts. It took all the great performance features of the Boxster and neatly wrapped them up in a svelte coupe silhouette. The handling characteristics rivaled it’s bigger 911 sibling and, in many cases, outperformed it. Now that these cars are 15-years old, they are perfect candidates to make them even more capable. The 3.8L upgrade is a fairly common direction as it adds considerably more power as well as increasing reliability.
This Cayman S was built in March of 2006 and sold new on July 20th, 2006 by Pacific Porsche (the old Vasek Polak Porsche dealer) in South Bay area here in Los Angeles. It was ordered with the following factory options:
- 50-state US emissions
- Headlamp washers
- 19” Carrera Classic wheels
- Bi-Xenon headlamp package
- Bose surround sound system
The first owner lived locally here in SoCal. He kept the car for about 4-years/36k-miles. He serviced it regularly at the selling Porsche dealer or Autowerkstatt in Manhattan Beach, California. The next owner lived here in Los Angeles as well. He continued using the car as a daily driver/commuter. He kept the car for 3-years and added another 34k-miles. He sold it to an enthusiast in Texas who continued its use as a daily driver. He kept the car in Texas for a couple of years and eventually moved back to San Diego area. He took the car with him and eventually sold it to the current owner on July 18th, 2016 with 95,830 miles. Before the current Santa Barbara area owner purchased the car, he had it inspected and purchased an aftermarket warranty.
The project was to find a straight, well maintained car as a starting platform. Good engine, but not necessary as the plan was to rebuild into a powerful 3.8 motor for the track while remaining streetable. Soon after purchase, Vision Motorsports helped with the suspension modifications as well as set the ride height, alignment, and corner balancing. They also installed the bolt-in roll bar. While doing some sorting and testing, the engine experienced difficulty, some oil starvation/hyper lock and a piston was damaged. Fortunately, the owner had purchased a warranty and used those funds to begin the teardown of the engine.
This build far exceeded the warranty reimbursement as he wanted to not only add power, but also significant reliability. He enlisted the help of RS Enterprises works in Ventura, California. They specifically work on Porsches. RS followed the same build as all other race Caymans per methods used at Vision Motorsports and Joey Napolante , FVD, and other POC drivers. The car runs around 400 BHP. Dwain from Vision has incredible results with this design against GT3s.
Highlights of this engine build include:
- Tear engine down to the case
- Repair crank case and strengthen it
- Extra think steel cylinder sleeves
- Carillo rods
- Milled and polished cylinder heads
- Balanced crankshaft
- Deep oil sump with extended pickup and baffles
- IMS replaced with Porsche recommended bearing and repair process
- New custom 3.8L JE piston and cylinder set
- Crankshaft carrier
- Main bearings
- Rod bearings
- Connecting rods
- Upgraded intermediate shaft
- Timing chains and guide rails
- Oil pumps
- Oil air separator from Porsche Motorsports
- Breather hose
- Coolant pump and thermostat
- Spark plugs
- Front engine mount
- Custom gasket set
- Oil pan by FVD Motorsport
Other significant repairs and upgrades:
- 82mm throttle body and Plenum – FVD Brombacher
- Stainless steel headers – Schnell Elite
- GMG bolt-in roll bar
- BBS SR wheels in anthracite finish (18×8 and 18×10)
- Bilstein PSS9 suspension kit (installed and aligned by Vision)
- Clutch kit (replaced 7/14 @ 83k-miles)
- Custom vinyl graphics in navy
- Protomotive ECU tune
- Tinted windows
In the end, this owner invested nearly $40,000 upgrading this Cayman S
Within the first 750-miles, he performed a break in oil service, drive belt, and reseal oil sump pan by RS Enterprises. A fresh oil service was performed this month (2/20).
This Cayman S is in pretty amazing condition considering the miles. It’s obviously been well cared-for and not abused. The body looks great as well does the paint. There are minimal signs of use with no major scratches…just some very light chips from normal use, but much fewer than cars with half the miles. The stripes were recently added vinyl decals and can easily be removed. The glass appears to be all original and wears the factory stamps. Although the windshield is original and has no cracks or major chips, it does have a fair amount of typical light rash. The exterior lights all work. The BBS wheels are new with no curb rash. They are wearing Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R tires with about 75% life remaining on rear (fairly new) and the fronts are at about 30%. The rear brakes are at half-life and the fronts are at 75% life. The front plastic splitter was added to protect the factory bumper. It has some scuffs, but certainly helped save the bumper. The hydraulic rear wing operates properly.
The interior is especially tidy and shows minimal signs of use. The leather seats have no tears or cracks and just some light wear on the driver exit bolster. The door panels look great with no warping. The headliner has started to sag, so it’s been secured with staples. It would be about $500 to replace. The GMG roll-bar fits nicely and can easily be removed as it just bolts in. The dash has no cracks or warping and all the gauges work properly. The interior lights all work as does the upgraded stereo with Bluetooth. The air-conditioning works great and blows very cold. The power windows and mirrors all work properly. Aside from the bolt in roll bar behind the driver, the entire interior looks and operates as a stock car. The original factory seatbelts are installed and work properly. The factory airbags are also operational.
This Cayman S starts easily and has a nice smooth idle. There’s a slight rumble to the exhaust note to let you know there is extra horsepower inside. Despite the significant power upgrade, it still feels and drives fairly stock. The extra hundred plus horsepower can be felt throughout the RPM range. The throttle response is immediate and very linear. There is no hesitation. The suspension is not too aggressive and certainly inspires confidence on twisty roads. Turn in is precise and almost intuitive. The handling is very predictable and it’s easy to drive fast. The brakes are fantastic with excellent initial bite and perfect pedal feel. The transmission shifts smoothly through all the gears with no slipping or grinding. This Cayman S 3.8L could easily be used daily as well as something to drive on more spirited backroads or even driver’s education events.
California registration is current through July of 2020 and it just passed (2/20) California’s strict emissions/smog test.
This Porsche comes with original owner’s manual, original maintenance book, cover for books, extra key (2 total), original factory cats, original trunk kit (air compressor, wheel lock, tow hook, and flat repair kit), OBDII reset tool, and many service receipts including build receipts.
**Note: VIN and other numbers withheld to protect against fraud. All numbers including VIN, Engine, and color will be provided to serious buyers.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Paul at 714-335-4911 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This vehicle is sold “as-is” with no warranty, written or implied. In some cases, the vehicle does have the remaining factory warranty still in place and will be described above if that is the case. All taxes and fees are the responsibility of the buyer and are not included in the listed price. All vehicle sales will require a $170 administration fee. The vehicle listed is described to the best of our ability. The information is based on our own research and statements made to us by the previous owner(s). To the best of our knowledge, the above information is accurate. We are not responsible for errors in our description of options or any other details. The above-mentioned vehicle is used and can be expected to show some wear and tear. It is not a brand new vehicle. We do welcome all local pre-purchase inspections on vehicles in order to verify condition.
We appreciate the countless calls from brokers and dealers. As much as we would love to quickly “wholesale” this car to industry partners so they can make a quick profit, the car is on consignment (as are all of our offerings) and the owners have the final say.
If you have actually taken the time to read this far in our detailed description, I can’t imagine there are any questions you may have. However, if there is something I missed or you would prefer to hear the warm sound of a human voice (mine) reiterating the research I’ve provided above, I would be happy to help.
If you put our company name in Google (AutoKennel®) you will see that we have been a long-time part of the Porsche community and have worked extremely hard to earn the positive reputation you will find. Feel free to reach out to our local PCA chapter (www.pcaocr.org) and the board members are familiar with us. Most in the club have known us for most of our 25-year membership involvement. Of course, if you would like more references, you will find countless testimonials on our website as well.
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